Category Archives: freedom

get out of my dreams, get into my electric car

she wants a 100 mpg car too, and thinks electric is the way to go.  like I said before, I don’t care how I get 100 mpg equivalent (let’s say $0.04/mile, where right now my commute costs $0.14/mile), I’d just like to get there sometime soon.

moblogic.tv seems to have an interesting vlog each and every day, with a libertarian bent (though they never come right out and get preachy about it).  if the hostess looks familiar, it’s because she stars in Crest Whitestrips TV ads where she has a smile so bright it makes mere mortals look like a spokesmen for Hedley & Wyche.  she’s also in an ad that, for about 15 seconds, actually made me want to have four periods per year.  (when Logical is doing all the research and web-surfing, I felt I could really relate.  and when Emotional is dancing around; well don’t we all want to feel that carefree?  seriously, she’s that good.)

unfortunately, she’s looking to Detroit for a solution.  good luck getting anything innovative out of them, I’m still looking towards Silicon Valley…

here’s moblogic’s inaugural post with a brief introduction:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Filed under energy policy, freedom

liberties lost

Radley Balko serves up his annual list of predictions . Please go read them now.

Go… Scoot. I’ll wait…

OK, if you read it and didn’t get it, the list was actual liberties lost and/or ignored during the past year (as evidenced by the hyperlinks in each). One can only imagine what 2008 will really bring.

[update: fixed the link above to “predictions”; it previously pointed to Will Smith: Nazi Sympathizer — just kidding, I read that story with fascination/frustration because I said the same thing a few months back, and nobody understood what I meant either.]

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Filed under freedom, if you aren't outraged you aren't paying attention, liberty, lies, stupid government

the kids are all-right

so my Wife relays to me the following story (November 1st or 2nd):

You know how when you pull into our cul-du-sac you turn head-on to number [xx]?  Well I turn the corner today, and there are the neighborhood kids with a sign in the driveway: “Candy 25 cents”.  I stopped beside the driveway and asked them if they were really selling Hollowe’en candy, and they said yes, but “only the candy they didn’t like”.  “THEY’RE TRYING TO SELL OUR OWN CANDY BACK TO US!!!!”

I’m glad the Wifey relayed the story to me over the phone, cuz I’m sure it took the sting off the laugh I gave when she was done.  What did she expect?  I was proud of these kids, trying to turn their Hallowe’en booty into cold-hard cash.  I mean really, from an economic point of view, if people are willing to give you something for nothing (or virtually nothing, since costumes seem to be optional nowadays), why not try to sell the proceeds for a profit?

obviously, she didn’t buy anything.  and given that we had about 125,000 calories worth of left-over candy at our house, I didn’t object.   but come on — these kids had the right idea*

* the other thing the Wife was upset at was the idea that the kids were selling back candy “they didn’t want”.  Butterfingers, I believe, were the main thing they were pushing.  They were not trying to return the KitKats or Peanut Butter Cups that we liked, or she might have bought them back.  Again, I saw this as an example of the free-market at work…

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Filed under blah, boogie woogie, economics, freedom, I believe the children are our future, libertarian, petty jealousy

sub-prime lending

the other day, when I admitted that I didn’t understand exactly what this whole sub-prime lending situation was, someone convinced me that the loans were being made at lower than the prime rate (sub-“prime rate”).  that sounded absurd to me — how could a bank loan at less than the incredibly low interest rates that were available to prime borrowers?  convinced is a strong word — I objected, and they persisted, so I stopped arguing with them (A HA!  I shouldn’t have caved — may that be the last time I ever do THAT!)

anyways, as Wikipedia sayeth:

The term “subprime” refers to the credit status of the borrower (being less than ideal), not the interest rate on the loan itself.

alas, I didn’t have Wikipedia available when I was having that discussion.  am I the only guy that wishes I had the Internet available in my peripheral vision at all times, just like the Terminator and his heads-up display?  that should be available soon enough, I imagine.

more on why we shouldn’t bail out the subprime debacle by the chief economist at the Waffle House (??!?)…

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Filed under economics, finance, freedom

“most folk heroes start as criminals…”

these guys are inspirational:

YOU CAN GET ARRESTED FOR THAT
2 Guys, 25 Dumb Laws, 1 Absurd American Crime Spree

good times.

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Filed under freedom, liberty, stupid government, whatever

wow, I just inched closer to voting for Hillary*

if this exchange is to be believed:

The day before, by contrast, Hillary Clinton had this exchange with medical marijuana activist Len Epstein in Manchester:

Epstein: Twelve states allow medical marijuana, but the Bush administration continues to raid patient.

Clinton: Yes, I know. It’s terrible.

Epstein: Would you stop the federal raids?

Clinton: Yes, I will.

as Reason, uh, reasoned:

An appropriate follow-up question would have asked how Clinton felt when her husband pursued a policy similar to Bush’s, refusing to accept state policy judgments regarding the medical use of cannabis. Still, good for Hillary Clinton, which is not something I get to say very often.

NB: I haven’t researched the validity of this quote.  and yes, ending the “War on Drugs” is something I’d vote for.  saving people from themselves is not the place of the government.

* yes, the thought of this made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

10 Comments

Filed under desperate, freedom, politics

why I don’t fear the future

2005
The scope of the Web today is hard to fathom. The total number of Web pages, including those that are dynamically created upon request and document files available through links, exceeds 600 billion. That’s 100 pages per person alive.

How could we create so much, so fast, so well? In fewer than 4,000 days, we have encoded half a trillion versions of our collective story and put them in front of 1 billion people, or one-sixth of the world’s population. That remarkable achievement was not in anyone’s 10-year plan.

The accretion of tiny marvels can numb us to the arrival of the stupendous. Today, at any Net terminal, you can get: an amazing variety of music and video, an evolving encyclopedia, weather forecasts, help wanted ads, satellite images of anyplace on Earth, up-to-the-minute news from around the globe, tax forms, TV guides, road maps with driving directions, real-time stock quotes, telephone numbers, real estate listings with virtual walk-throughs, pictures of just about anything, sports scores, places to buy almost anything, records of political contributions, library catalogs, appliance manuals, live traffic reports, archives to major newspapers – all wrapped up in an interactive index that really works.

This view is spookily godlike. You can switch your gaze of a spot in the world from map to satellite to 3-D just by clicking. Recall the past? It’s there. Or listen to the daily complaints and travails of almost anyone who blogs (and doesn’t everyone?). I doubt angels have a better view of humanity.

Why aren’t we more amazed by this fullness? Kings of old would have gone to war to win such abilities. Only small children would have dreamed such a magic window could be real. I have reviewed the expectations of waking adults and wise experts, and I can affirm that this comprehensive wealth of material, available on demand and free of charge, was not in anyone’s scenario. Ten years ago, anyone silly enough to trumpet the above list as a vision of the near future would have been confronted by the evidence: There wasn’t enough money in all the investment firms in the entire world to fund such a cornucopia. The success of the Web at this scale was impossible.

But if we have learned anything in the past decade, it is the plausibility of the impossible.

From a WIRED article a few years back; I must have missed it the first time around…

The other important thing to remember here is that not only was the “world wide web” not on some company’s 10-year plan, it was NOT the result of some government program* or the result of a group with an agenda.  Ten or fifteen years into this experiment, it’s pretty safe to say that almost all factions and interest-groups are involved in some way or another.

And lest any of you think we’re peaking, I believe the pace of interconnectedness and communication is only going to increase.  So many people want to paint a picture of our society as breaking apart (suicidal/homocidal loners, terrorists, etc), but I think we’re on the way to something altogether different.

* puh-leease don’t remind me that this was the result of ARPA/DARPA — the change in the Internet around 1995 demonstrates how clearly the goals have diverged from the government’s original plans once it was opened up to the free market

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Filed under freedom, I believe the children are our future, liberty, pick any two